Players based in Auckland might not be able to take part in the North vs South clash after the Health Minister confirmed he hasn’t given any exemptions for them to link up with their teammates in Wellington.

The inter-island match is scheduled to take place next Saturday at Eden Park, but the feasibility of the match being hosted in Auckland has been shrouded in uncertainty as the city will remain in level three lockdown until three days before the fixture.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has subsequently been preparing for a contingency plan, outlining earlier this week that they were hopeful the match could still be played in Auckland but said it could instead be played in Wellington.

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The squads, which were announced on Tuesday, are scheduled to congregate in the capital on Monday.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said he hasn’t received any requests for the 13 Auckland-based players to be given special clearance to leave the region, adding that no exemptions have been given for those players to assemble in Wellington with the North and South squads.

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